It’s Monday, March 12th, and here are the PT headlines for the week. A major physical therapy employer declared bankruptcy, 20 states file a lawsuit declaring Obamacare illegal, South Carolina moves to joint the Interstate Licensure Compact, Minnesota seeks to allow PTs to assess the need for disability parking, and Denver saves millions with physical therapy. Finally, MoveTogether’s Pro Bono Incubator is now accepting applications. Rachel Jermann sits down with founder Josh D’Angelo to talk funding innovation and providing care around the corner, and around the globe.
HCR ManorCare Files Bankruptcy
HCR ManorCare, the second largest long-term care and skilled nursing facility provider in the country, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week with over 7 billion in debt. The company blames shrinking reimbursements and tighter margins on its inability to cover it’s rent payments. The company operates over 500 skilled nursing and long-term care facilities and while it employs a large number of physical therapists, company spokesperson Julie Beckert claims that patients nor employees should see any disruption in service.
For more information on the bankruptcy, go here
In federal news, the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) may find itself in court once again as 20 states filed a lawsuit claiming it to be unconstitutional. The complaint, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, claims that without a tax penalty on the individual mandate, which was eliminated by Congressional Republicans, the individual mandate and thus the law as a whole is unconstitutional. Paxton has stated his ultimate goal of the lawsuit is to repeal Obamacare so that Congress can replace it.
Further details on the lawsuit can be found here
State Legislative News
In state news, South Carolina took a step closer to joining the Interstate Licensure Compact, with H4799, their compact bill, being voted unanimously out of sub-committee. It will move on to the full committee in the coming weeks. There are currently 15 states in the compact with 8 having introduced legislation (including South Carolina). Be sure to listen to our interview with James Spencer for more information on the Interstate Licensure Compact.
Furthermore, several PTs including Steph Weyrauch headed to St. Paul to advocate for adding PTs as lawful prescribers of disability parking placards in Minnesota. This adds to recent activity by another Midwest state, with a similar bill having just passed through both the House and Senate in Michigan. The Michigan bill has been presented to Governor Snyder for signature. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on the story as it develops.
To see Steph Weyrauch’s comment about the measure, check here
Colorado utilizes Physical Therapy to save Millions
In a further show of PT’s cost-saving ability, Denver Colorado has integrated a physical therapist directly into their Police Department to cut down on costs. This integration started as a pilot program in 2016 and has grown from roughly 50 visits a month to over 150, and has saved an estimated 8 million dollars due to reduced workers comp claims. The idea for the program was borrowed from Denver’s Fire Department, who brought a physical therapist in-house to treat their firefighters in 2014 and saw a 42% reduction in workers compensation claims.
To read more about Denver’s efforts, check them out here
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